Nedd Brockmann Wants To Be The Fastest Man To Ever Run Across Australia
— 4 September 2022

Nedd Brockmann Wants To Be The Fastest Man To Ever Run Across Australia

— 4 September 2022
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

It takes a certain kind of person to be attracted to spectacular feats of endurance running. Such achievements not only do they require a strong body, honed over years of training on the trails and in the gym, but they also take a particular psychological make-up that isn’t just willing to suffer – it enjoys it. Sydney local Nedd Brockmann is a man with this special physical and mental constitution, and this week he’ll begin his attempt to break the record for running across Australia.

Nedd first announced his plan to run across the country back in April, and since then has split his time between training for the record-breaking attempt, and sharing his story and the great cause he will be fundraising for. As a born and raised NSW country boy, Nedd was shocked by the amount of homelessness on Sydney’s streets when he moved to the city after he finished school, so will be raising money for the Mobilise charity working to help those experiencing homelessness.

I was fortunate enough to speak with Nedd just before he hopped on a plane to Perth, where he’ll begin his 3,800km journey to Bondi Beach. We spoke not only about his background, the achievements he’s already enjoyed in the running world, and the hardest days he’s had (so far) on the road, but also about his motivation behind the attempt and what he hopes to change from it – which he spoke of in detail on a heartfelt podcast with the boys you can listen to below. Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, Nedd Brockmann.

RELATED: Sydney Tradie Aims To Break 3,800km Running Record From Perth To Bondi

Before we get into it, tell us a bit about yourself for those who might not have come across you before.

Nedd Brockmann: I’m a nutcase who loves doing long endurance challenges and seeing what the body’s capable of. To be honest, I pride myself on my resilience and ability to keep getting back up, and with this challenge, it’s a matter of exactly that.

I’m a Forbes boy, so grew up 6 hours west of Sydney on a farm. My Dad’s a cattle farmer and my Mum is an accountant and a personal trainer as well. And I went to primary school in Bedgerabong, which is a very small town where I’m from. To give you an idea, I had 23 kids in my whole school, the entire school.

Where did you get your resilience and work ethic from?

NB: My Dad was a cattle farmer when I was in high school, and I wouldn’t see him during the holidays, nor would I see him during the school term. When I got up for school he’d already be gone and wouldn’t be back until after I went to bed. 

During that time the drought was pretty bad and there’d been no rain for four years, so it was really tough for everyone. Seeing it happen at the time didn’t mean much because there was no complaining for him, just never a word of complaint. It was just, “this is the job, get on with it,” which was sort of his mantra. 

I never really understood it till I took a year off to work with him on the farm, which was eye-opening and made me realise just how hard the work was. 

There were times in Year 8 when mum came to me crying saying, “We don’t know how we’re going to pay the school fees,” so we had to just take it day by day and see what we could do. I’d hear the tractor go out at 3 AM because we’d hear all the cattle mooing at the back door because they knew the feed was at the house, so Dad would drive the feed 20 kilometres into the paddocks for them to eat, but the next day they’d be back mooing again. So for four years, Dad was feeding cattle every day twice a day, but then it rained and we got really lucky. I guess in this day and age, we’re all quite comfortable and we don’t have to do anything we don’t need to, so a lot of people could take a leaf out of his book. 

I’m very, very proud of my Dad and I don’t take it lightly what he’s done for me and the family. He’s an incredible man and he’s going to come along on the run so that’ll be a special thing to share with him.

Were you a competitive athlete of any variety at school or at university?

NB: I ran at the athletics carnivals at school, but I also rowed and played rugby. I always was never a big rugby player, I was never like a big rower, so I couldn’t pull the quickest erg, but I just trained my balls off day in, day out. I just was never getting anywhere with it, so it was always a carrot dangle of me saying to myself, “you’ll make the quad”, or, “you’ll make the first fifteen”, but I never really made it. 

The rowing was really good because it taught discipline pretty much every morning as a teenager in high school. You don’t want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to go get on the bus at five in Orange, where it’s minus one degree in the morning. It’s the last you want to do! 

It was good to be able to learn the habits of getting up early on back-to-back days, but running never really was a thing at school. I didn’t go for a run because I wanted a bit of fitness, it was just there when I had to do it for footy training or rowing.

When did you start taking running seriously?

NB: By the time I moved to Sydney, I had run a few 21-kilometre efforts for fun, and then I guess it kind of took a turn during COVID in 2020 when I just fell into my own. I’ve always gravitated to like individual training after rowing and rugby, because even though I was still sort of involved in those sports, I was still finding avenues to be a bit insular with my training. Even now with my running, I don’t really love running in groups, because I just like pushing of myself. But in 2020 I did a half marathon and then I did a full marathon, and from there I just caught the running bug. 

What’s your best half marathon and full marathon time?

NB: My best marathon is 2 hours and 53 minutes, but I would love to see what my marathon time would be with an actual marathon training block because the 2:53 was after 49 marathons consecutively. I’ve done an 80 minutes half, but after all my long-distance escapes, I think I’ll be having a go at some sort of quicker stuff.

A person standing posing for the camera

Why do you want to run across Australia?

NB: A few reasons. So after I did the 50 marathons in 50 days, I heard that someone had run across the country in 66 days. I thought that was a really cool thing, and while I didn’t know where the 50 and 50 were going to take me or what I wanted to do after it, what I gained out of the experience of running the marathons, getting people around it and raising the money, I thought was pretty cool. 

Then I happened to be chatting to a mate over lunch and he just said, “why don’t you smash it and try and run it in 40 days?” The record was 45 days, so I thought 100 kilometres a day for 40 days could be possible, but from there in December of 2020 the plan was solidified and that was it. 

Since then I’ve had a couple of ups and downs, a few injuries and niggles. Because after running 50 marathons in 50 days I felt like superman, all while working full time so I felt like I could take on the world. But I’ve sorted out those issues by bringing on a coach, physio and nutritionist and started putting everything into place.

Can you talk us through the preparation you’ve been doing for this run? 

NB: The run has been in the back of my mind for two years, so it was easy to train for it at the start, but it’s been harder since we got closer. My coach Matty Able has been working with me since the start of this year, and he’s been incredible. We worked out where my base fitness was at in the beginning, but while it’s a bit physical feat, it’s all in your mind and your ability to not give in. 

When you’re two weeks in and your body is telling you to stop, you need to get past that point and that’s when your body will start to adapt. When your knees are blown up and your calf is done and everything’s fucked, that’s when most people give in. But for the last two years, there hasn’t been a morning where I’ve woken up and not thought about it. It’s almost draining in a weird way, I’ve talked about it enough and I’m just so ready to go that it’ll be a relief when I get to the start line. I cannot wait to rip into it. 

The base training has had me running around 110 kilometres per week consistently, but it’s also been three or four times a week doing massive strength sessions to get the bone stress, the tendons, ligaments and muscles all taking a thrashing. The beautiful thing about it is that I’ve done 50 marathons in 50 days while working as an electrician, so I know how to do this. I’m just getting myself there again.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve done so far in your athletic life? 

NB: If you were to speak to me two years ago, the answer would have been the first time I ran 60kms because I just wasn’t prepared at all. I didn’t have any kilometres in my legs, but I really wanted to do it under 5 hours because that seemed like a good goal. 

I picked a route from my farm to Forbes that was exactly 60 kilometres, but around 30 kilometres in I hadn’t had any food or water and was running in my worn-out runners that I could basically feel the tar under my feet in. Mum met me with a jar of sour patch kids and I grabbed a handful, dunked them down with a mouthful of water and then had nothing from 30 kilometres to 60 kilometres. That was the hardest thing I’d ever done at that point, that was fucked up. 

Fast forward to November 2020 and I decided to run 200 laps of Bronte Hill, which was 145 kilometres in total. I finished work at 3 in the afternoon and drive straight to Bronte with a 10-pack of pikelets, four muffins and a four-pack of Powerade. I started that afternoon and ran until around 6 in the morning, which was about 13 and a half hours to cover 145 kilometres with more than 6,000 metres of elevation. Each lap was about 800 metres, so it was taking me around four and a half minutes per lap which ended up being 5:45 minutes per kilometre for 145 kilometres. When I finished that I was probably on the same level I was after the 60 kilometres. 

I feel like what I’m about to do will be the new hardest thing, just in terms of getting out of bed every morning day after day. That fucks with your head. We crave comfort, so when you’re in uncomfortable scenarios it’s a fight until you’re finished. I’ve been living quite uncomfortably over the last few months to get used to it, taking cold showers and waking up when I don’t want to.

Is there anything you’re worried about going into this challenge? 

NB: It’s not so much worry about my body going into it, but when I come out of it. I know between the day 10 and day 14 mark is where your mind takes over. You’re on autopilot for the next 30 days. 

When the Iron Cowboy did 100 Ironman triathlons in 100 days, I couldn’t understand how anyone could do that, but he said there’s this period where after you keep fighting the urge to give up, eventually your mind takes control and your body knows you aren’t giving up. 

It’s fight or flight at that stage and it’s detrimental to your body. I think of it as taking the same amount of time as the effort to recover from the effort, so if you’ve done 100 days, you need to take another 100 days to properly recover. Because you’re in such a high adrenal state, your parasympathetic nervous system is firing and when you stop moving, you crash really hard. That’s when the injuries show themselves because they’ve been masked during the effort. 

It’s a pretty cool thing to get to because you hit a point where you start having out-of-body experiences. Hence why I’m doing it again, to be honest. After the 50 marathons, I’ve never had a feeling like the one I did when I finished. You can have all the serotonin releases you like, but there’s nothing better than accomplishing something you’ve worked so hard for and I’ve craved it ever since.

What does that feel like? 

NB: It was out of body. After the 50 marathons I had 200 people down at Centennial Park cheering me on and I just had this feeling of, “we did it.” It’s pure elation.

What’s the game plan for nutrition and recovery while you’re running across Australia? 

NB: I’m looking at 9,000 calories a day, which is four times a normal recommended intake, so that’s one element. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll actually be running each day in four 25-kilometre efforts, running for two and a half hours before having half hour break. I’m looking at running around 6 minutes per kilometre to give me a bit of a buffer for walking and eating. 

We’ve planned for a 5 AM non-negotiable start, so I’ll be waking around 4:30 AM each morning to have a coffee and some food. But because of how many calories I’m burning, I need liquid nutrition and will be eating a lot before I go to sleep because I’ll burn another 1,500 calories overnight. So there are a lot of things to think about, and a few logistics to consider for each day, but everyone knows their role and I just need to get up and run every day. 

How has the preparation been different for this effort compared to 50 marathons in 50 days when you consider how much time you’ve spent talking to the media? 

NB: It’s funny, with the 50 marathons in 50 days my friends and family knew about it, but no one else really did at the start. A few people knew about it by the end of it, but in the first week no one was talking about it. Maybe two weeks in I started to do a few interviews here and there, and by the end, it had blown up and I was speaking on the radio and on TV, but nothing compared to this time around. 

This time I’ve been doing so much more media, which is a strange one because the spotlight is good to get people interested, but part of me wants to go back to when it was just me doing my thing. It’s almost overwhelming for me, because I’m doing more talking than running at the moment and I used to pride myself on doing something and then telling people, “look what I’ve done.” But that doesn’t raise money for homelessness. 

Nedd Brockmann running australia

Why have you chosen to raise money for homelessness in Australia? 

NB: Fortunately, I’ve never been homeless, and I’ve been lucky to always have people around me if I ever needed it. I’m very lucky, a lot of us are very lucky. But there are a lot of people who don’t have this support and it really hit me when I moved to Sydney and I was going to TAFE, I was quite alarmed by how many homeless people there were. 

I was speaking to my Mum, telling her that I needed to do something to help and she said, “they’re just people mate, go and have a chat with them.” So I would speak to the people who were interested in talking to me, sometimes giving them money or buying them food, and I gave out a couple of hoodies a few times, but I knew I needed to do something more. It was helping at the moment, but it wasn’t actually changing anything. 

At the crux of homelessness is that you need an address. Food and water are pretty easy to come by, but no one is getting a job when they don’t have an address, because no one can get a bank account when they don’t have an address, so at the core of it that’s the problem. I wanted to make a change, but I didn’t know how to. 

People have a lot of different reasons to do this type of thing, but I knew straight away that I wanted to raise a bunch of money for homelessness here, that would be really cool. For the 50 in 50 we raised $100,000, and after that people were telling me to work with a mental health charity, but I wanted to stick to what I was passionate about.

Mobilise is the charity and they actually reached out to me during the 50 in 50 and were really supportive even though I wasn’t raising money for them. They’re a tiny charity with 14 volunteers, and I knew it could be mind-blowing for them, so the idea to raise a million dollars came from that. Let’s go ten times bigger and for them, it would be an incredible amount of money. 

In addition to the money, it’s about starting a conversation about homelessness. I did some outreach with Mobilise where you go out and talk to homeless people and everyone should do it at least once. You get off your high horse and you understand that we’re all equal. It’s not a matter of “I’m lucky,” it’s about working together to improve things. 

If it was just a couple of homeless people, it might be another issue, but when there are tens of thousands of people sleeping on the street every night it makes you stop and realise there’s a bigger problem here. More often than not it’s domestic violence or housing affordability, but it’s not fair and it’s good that we can hopefully change things. 

Nedd Brockmann running australia

What do you want people to take away from your effort? 

NB: I think the resilience and homelessness areas that I’m interested in are linked more than you might think, not just because of how resilient the homeless are, but because lots of it starts in situations where it’s important to be resilient. Someone might come into mental health problems or any other difficult parts of life, and it’s a privileged position to be able to do something like this run and potentially give someone the motivation who sees it to get up and get moving. 

Even if it gets someone up off the couch, or starts that new job, I just want people to have a crack at whatever it is that they’ve always wanted to do, because you never know when you might not be able to do it. I don’t want to be preaching down anyone’s neck, but our days are numbered so go out and have a red hot crack at it. 

What’s next for Nedd Brockmann? 

NB: I want to see how this one goes, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to think about it when I’m doing it. Who know’s what I’ll be thinking about on the Nullarbor? 

I’m sure I’ll want to do something else soon enough, just to scratch the itch, but I think it might be something like seeing how well I can do a marathon if I have a specific training block to prepare for it. I’m not the quickest on the short stuff, but there are a few ultra marathon races I’d like to give a crack at. This will also give me a pretty good base fitness off the back of it, so we’ll see what happens. 

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Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


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